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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Carl Kanefsky, Communications Director
(302) 540-4979, Pager

Date: May 18, 2010


State Continues to Close Cancer Mortality Gap With Nation

Secretary Rita Landgraf of Delaware's Department of Health and Social Services today released the report "Cancer Incidence and Mortality in Delaware 2002-2006." * According to the report, the state's overall cancer incidence and mortality rates decreased from 1992-1996 to 2002-2006 as follows:

"Delaware's cancer mortality rate is down at least in part because of more cancer screenings and better lifestyle choices," Sec. Landgraf said. "To support Governor Markell's priorities of promoting healthy lifestyles, the Division of Public Health will work with partners to continue expanding programs to prevent tobacco use, promote physical activity, proper nutrition, appropriate screening and access to quality treatment."

"To assist in developing future cancer strategies, DPH will complete cancer cluster investigations for each of the 45 census tracts in which the all-site cancer incidence rate is higher than the state average," said Dr. Karyl Rattay, DPH director. These investigations will be completed by July 30. By September, DPH will also conduct further analyses of the report's data which show an increase in incidence of uterine, urinary bladder and thyroid cancers in Delaware.

Dr. Rattay encourages community leaders and individual residents to request a forum to discuss cancer rates, risks and prevention methods by calling 302-744-1040. For the complete 2002-2006 cancer data report, go to

* Data are presented as five-year rolling averages to reduce the impact that short-term fluctuations may have due to the small size of Delaware's population.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.